Lumina rue: a dream
. . . The “teahouse” wasn’t a restaurant or shop but a kind of library. There was no one inside but there were signs prominently displayed throughout, in multiple languages, with just one word on them. Free. Gratis. Libre. I could hardly believe it. The books looked antique and well-preserved. What kind of anonymous benefactor would sponsor such a marvelous public resource? Or was it the case that books, even rare ones, were now almost worthless?
I unzipped my jacket and began to wander through the aisles. Before ascending the stairs, however, I circled back to the bookshelves near the entrance. Only a few minutes passed from the time I entered the building until I found a book on Ahuramazda. I was struck how the book seemed to fall into my hands. Surely, I wasn’t the only visitor curious about the mysterious word above the door of the building. Upon reflection I was almost certain the book was a facsimile and that the management secretly replaced it every evening, perhaps more often (posing as visitors, and pulling copies from beneath their coats). I don’t know why I imagined this should be a clandestine operation, as foreign gods were no longer a menace.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that Ahuramazda was an ancient Persian God, and a little disappointed by what I read in the first few pages, standing at the bookshelf as I often did when I was a student. Though I appreciated that his name meant Lord of Wisdom, and associated that with both my knowledge of Kabbalah and a minor obsession with Hagia Sophia, here was no great mystery, and no great discovery.
I was, however, intrigued that the symbol of the god, with a circular element and wings, resembled the Egyptian symbol of the winged sun associated with Ra. It reminded me of the ancient city of Heliopolis, constructed to honor the sun. I thought about the obelisks of Heliopolis distributed throughout the capital cities of Europe with a sense of hope, but then recalled that the symbol of the winged sun could be found at the base of the Washington Monument, so close to the seat of a government bent on destroying life through sheer ignorance of the cosmological order. For a moment I prayed I’d never wake up from this vivid dream. As is often the case, I felt I was born out of time, but for the first time in my life I desperately wanted to see the future.
Originally published on Environmental Critique
Image Credit: Lumina Rue by Owen Carson